Winter Livestock is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce because it is America's largest independent cattle auction company and one of the nations oldest.
Since 1936 Winter Livestock customers have sold over 26 million cattle through Winter Livestock facilities with a total cattle value of over $8 billion dollars.
WINTER LIVESTOCK HISTORY, provided by Brian Winter
Late in the year of 1887 Henry Winter left his Iowa home in search of land. He brought his springboard wagon to rest by Pawnee Creek in Finney County, Kansas where he built a sod home on what was soon to be known as the Winter Ranch. He filed his claim January 18, 1888 and immediately sent for his wife Kate and three children to join him at their new home.
April 21, 1889 a fourth child, Karl Mark Winter was born to Henry and Kate. As a youngster Karl saw the great herds of cattle trailed in from the south. Some were driven across the eastern corner of the Winter Ranch to water at the Pawnee Creek. It was a great source of entertainment for young Winter and his brothers to ride alongside the drovers and marvel at the herds. One of those was said to be 10,000 head of cattle on their way up the Chisholm Trail.
Karl farmed and ranched alongside his father until the age of 21, when he took over the ranch. In Karl's capable hands the ranch increased in size many times over. The brown-eyed neighbor girl who won young Karl Winter's heart was Gladys Brown, whose parents had come from Cherokee County, Kansas. After marrying in 1914, Gladys and Karl ranched on his home place. They were the parents of three sons: Ralph, Ross and Ray.
In 1936, Karl and his family moved to Dodge City because of Gladys' failing health. That year, Karl purchased the livestock auction facilities in Dodge CityJ.C. Renner and leased the adjoining Santa Fe railroad in the heyday of the cattle drives. Gladys' illness brought about her death in 1939. In 1942 Karl married Grace Bayless. Together they made a home for his sons and their daughter, Phyllis.
Winter Livestock Commission Company was the name of Karl's new enterprise and some 29,886 head were sold in the first year of operation. In the years to come Karl sold half interest to Ted McKinley and together they kept the business growing at a steady pace. Winter Livestock Inc. acquired the La Junta, Colorado Ted McKinley sold his share of the partnership back to Karl. sale facility in 1940 in an effort to further serve the farmer, rancher and cattleman. Later
In 1956 Karl and Ross Winter built Winter Feed Yard. Winter Ranch, Winter Livestock and Winter Feed Yard continued to dedicate their efforts to serving the needs of the cattle industry. In an effort to further serve the cattleman Ray Winter, Enid, Oklahoma, in 2000 Video and Internet Cattle Marketing services were added, and in 2005 the livestock auction in Riverton, Wyoming expanded the family business further. In 1993, construction of a new sale pavilion was completed in was added.
Today the Winter Family is still farming and ranching the same land in Finney County. The Winter Family never strayed from their commitment to the cattle industry, and that dedication has made Winter Livestock Inc. and Winter Feed Yard Inc. industry leaders. Winter Livestock Inc. sold 525,000 head in 2000, making it America's Largest Independent Cattle Auction Company.
Winter's Dodge City location is currently under the management of Brian R. Winter and Mark C. Winter, both son's of Ray and Sue Winter of Enid and fourth generation ranchers in Southwest Kansas. Winter Livestock's La Junta management crew is headed up by John Campbell, Lee Mayo and Ron Hoss. Ray and Sue Frizell Winter now reside in Enid, Oklahoma. Weston K. Winter is the general manager of the Oklahoma livestock auction.
Since 1936 Winter Livestock customers have sold over 26 million cattle through Winter Livestock facilities with a total cattle value of over $8 billion dollars. Ray Winter contends that the success of Winter Livestock is due to the excellence of the personnel. Also important to Winter Livestock is their reputation of fairness to both the buyers and sellers. "When you've dealt with a man's grandfather, his father and now him, it makes for a lot of trust." It's that kind of trust that the Winter Family will continue into the future. Thank you for doing business with Winter Livestock.
You're welcome to attend the auction any Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The livestock sale barn cafe is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.